Originally Posted by Paul Motter
Thanks for your comments, George. I know you have been around for a long time. I did not know you were at Mining Company, though. That preceded "About.com" which then had Linda Coffman and now has Linda Garrison as cruise editors.
Gee Paul when you say it like that I suddenly feel sooooo old.
But it is true I have been around for a long time, in computer forum and page lifetime cycles anyway. But I do want it noted, I only stepped out of my 50's this year although I admit that darn 60 number HURT!
Actually Linda took over The Mining Company page from me with my blessing and recommendation. We had actually sailed a group cruise ( unsponsored ) and met together with some forum members to Bermuda in the Zenith back in the day. I still stay in contact with Linda from time to time and check her cruisediva site.
Prior to The Mining Company page I did a personal web page on cruising. It was the good old days for me since personal web pages then required some basic html programming and was not an template situation. Also actual cabin and ship photo's were rare as few had ability to scan in and reduce size of photo's for online consumption. I posted photo's so I had a small, but ego building following. Few also had enough un-timed bandwidth to wait for photo's and such to download. Audience and interaction was limited at times but always high quality information. As always I digress. Lest to say the internet has grown to be what even I never anticipated. With that growth comes good and bad.
I remember the first time I presented my Mining Company credentials ( haha computer made business card ) at a RCCL media event at Manhattan pier hoping for a tour and a free cookie. Mining what, on inter who? They politely showed me the door, hahaha, not funny then I admit I was a might offended at the time. Cruise companies had no use for the internet back then. In fact they were very slow to the party and still have not realized it's true potential It was sites like Ann's original on AOL and you and Ann creating cruisemates, also forums like rec.travel.cruises, that awakened the lines to the internet. And it was your cruising experience both as former cruise ship staff and subsequent frequent cruiser that gave pages and articles credibility. It is that credibility that must not be lost. There must be lot's of real with the fluff.
Fluff is not so bad and advertising pays the bills and must be accepted as necessary evil. Hey every once in a blue moon there is actually an ad for something I am interested in. But there always has to be some meat for a site to exist and prosper. It is much harder to provide anything unique now. Everyone is in everyone else's business now so tons of fluff fluffing away. What makes a site such as this valuable is that you don't really have a lot of fluff only contributors. You have CRUISE lovers like yourself and others still involved.
How many of us have read articles in general elsewhere by " travel contributors " that have obviously never seen a ship much less sailed lot's of them as you have? I once did an agent tour back in my short three year cruise only agent side job life. One of the agents touring asked an innocent question, " do all cabins have a toilet ? " Well after all, that was why she was taking a ship agents tour right, to learn? Only problem was that she had been selling cruises for over a year already. Imagine the accuracy of information she was giving to newbees. To this day cruise line reservationists still can't provide factual answers to simple questions. Does cabin cat whatever have a refrigerator or a safe? Often 50/50 that the answer will be correct. How many cruise line pages offer just a generic picture and listing for a cabin cat, almost all. Want to know what aft suite 4237 on Miracle really looks like you go to my youtube
YouTube - georgehny's Channel
video of it. Just as I did for another suite friends booked for our cruise. I went to someones video and photos of it. Real information from real cruisers, that is the key on pages or in articles. That is how you find that the same cat suite on one deck is no where near as good as the one a deck above. Although both cost the same one is far superior because of design factors of each location.
Continued good luck with cruisemates and happy cruising. Sooner or later you and I will meet up on a ship somewhere and get to have a cocktail together
I will look forward to it!